by Rachel Ogbu
Officers of the Joint Task Force have arrested the suspected leader of the gang who allegedly murdered 11 policemen at Lobia creeks, Azuzuama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
25-year-old Jackson Fabouwei, was arrested on Thursday and paraded in Yenagoa, at the Sector 2 Headquarters of the JTF codenamed, Operation Pulo Shield.
Known as Jasper Boro Junior, Fabouwei confessed to have led a group of seven gunmen that killed 11 policemen who were on an escort duty, reports say.
According to reports, the Chief of Staff, JTF, Col. Farouk Yahaya, who paraded the suspect, said JTF and other security agencies had been working searching the area for the crtiminals and they were finally caught following sound intelligence gathering by the JTF and other security agencies.
A series of operations were carried out in Lobia, Ukubie, Ezetu, Ekeni and Azuzuama to catch the offenders.
“This led to the arrest of some of the suspects, the destruction of their hideouts and recovery of some of their arsenals.
“These JTF operations destabilised the criminals and put them on the run while the deployment of troops in Azuzuama and Loboa made those areas uncomfortable for them,” he said.
He said the JTF would hand over the suspect to the police for further investigation and prosecution.
The Punch reports:
The victims were drafted by the former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kingsley Omire, to go and provide security at the funeral of the mother of an ex-militant leader, Mr. Kile Torughedi, popularly known as the Young Shall Grow.
Torughedi, who was the commander of the South Wing of MEND from 2002 till 2009 when he embraced the amnesty for repentant militants, is currently serving as the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson on Marine Waterways Security.
On their way, 15 of the policemen travelling on a wooden engine boat were allegedly ambushed by Fabouwei and his gang who killed 11 of them after a gun battle that lasted for over 40 minutes.
While three of the policemen escaped the attack, one was kidnapped by the gunmen, who were said to have later collected N1m ransom to set him free.